You might have heard the term ‘digital nomad’ thrown around recently. It conjures up images of a weary traveller packed up with laptops, iPhones, metres of cable and a backpack the size of a small child.
Actually, IRL being a digital nomad is much cooler than that, and if you work in tech or one of the creative industries, it could be the answer to that wanderlust that’s had you pining for a holiday.
The gist of it is, if all you need for your job is your laptop and the Internet, then you can travel freely in any country, working as you go. That means you can call the beach, the bar, or even the top of a mountain your new office.
There are a few fundamentals you’ll need to consider before you jet off. Most importantly, you need to make sure you’ve got a job that’s the right fit. Then you need to think about places to stay. Many digital nomads opt for couch-surfing as a cheap option to cater to the lifestyle, but you may prefer the comfort of your own place, in which case, check out local Airbnb options and bed and breakfasts. Smaller local businesses also offer the benefit of being able to give you some pointers on your next stop!
No daily commute, no waiting months for your next holiday, no daily grind from home to office and back again. The lifestyle of a digital nomad gives you plenty of freedom, flexibility and spontaneity. You can also experience new cultures through more than just the window of your three-to-five day holiday – you can really get to know places and live like a local there.
The downside? You might be living away from family and close friends, which can get lonely, and depending on where you’re living and what language people are speaking, you may worry about feeling that things are ‘lost in translation.’ This will improve with time, but can prove tricky in the early days of living abroad. There’s also the small question of getting a job in case your employer nixes the whole work-from-the-beach idea…
Contrary to the belief that the digital nomad lifestyle is only for singletons or couples in their 20s in search of adventure, more and more families are ditching life in the UK – for a year, or two, or 10 – firmly believing that the lessons their children are learning from their travel experiences are just as valuable as what they’d pick up in a traditional classroom.
Although your smartphone will practically be an extension of your arm, without the internet, it’s not going to be much use while you’re skipping across the globe. With Go Roam, you can unlock your UK allowance in over 70 destinations worldwide, including Australia, USA, Portugal and Germany.
Another great option? Our Contract SIMs allow you to use your phone abroad with Go Roam, with plans starting at just £6 a month.
But we get it, maybe you’ve already got a phone and don’t need a new one. How about a SIM-Only Plan? You get all the benefits of your data allowance (which you can track with our data calculator) and texts and calls but without having to sacrifice your new iPhone 7. Bonus.
Not with Three? Not a problem – you can buy one of our Pay As You Go SIM cards – featuring the UK’s lowest PAYG rates – and chat for 3p a minute, message for 2p a text and pay only 1p per MB of data. Buy an Add-On and enjoy Go Roam privileges, without the daily roaming charge.
If a smartphone is one of your best friends, your laptop is the other. You’ve got your Internet covered on your phone, but when it comes to work, you’re going to need more than that. If you’ve got our Mobile Broadband or dongles already then the good news is you can use these in over 138 countries worldwide (with a couple of restrictions for different frequencies). You might want to top this up before you travel, but the good news is we’ll automatically cap it at £39 so you won’t be left with a surprise bill.
One thing to note: Go Roam can only be used for two months at a time, so be sure to pop back to the UK and say hello to friends and family before flying back out for the next phase of your adventure.
If you’ve got your internet sorted, then you can have full use of our favourite tools to help you cruise through your new digital nomad lifestyle.
Trail Wallet, iPhone App Store, Free for the first 25 items
The perfect way to keep track of all your travelling expenses, because the one thing you don’t want is to unexpectedly run out of money. Though roughing it on a beach in Hawaii has its perks.
There’s no better way to plan your trips across the globe. Just forward all your flight bookings, car rentals and basically anything you need to keep you going, and this will arrange it into an easy to use itinerary. The best part about this is it works offline, so no more missing that flight when you’re out of signal range.
To find friendly locals nearby to put you up for a night or two, use the Couchsurfing app. Not only can it find you a bed for the night but it could also help you make some great connections in new places.
For when communicating with the locals gets a bit tricky, let Google Translate do the hard work for you and make sure your tuk tuk is taking you to the right place.
Main pic: Pexels via Unsplash